Teaching for Assistant Professors

Teaching is a part of the training for an academic career and is meant to give experience with various tasks, including lecturing, preparing exercises, grading exams and interacting with students.

As a general rule, assistant professors are not supposed to teach in their first year. However, since the planning of teaching schedules starts a year before courses are given, it is recommended that assistant professors start thinking about what they want to teach as early as possible.

The teaching load is regulated by a system of hourly accounts, where the teaching load is measured in hours. The table below shows an example of how many hours a fixed term assistant professor (POST DOC) needs to teach each year to fulfill the quota. In total 1017 hours of teaching and administrating is required over the four-year period. Tenure-track assistant professors have half the teaching load of tenured staff, i.e. 225 hours per term. Usually, tenure-track assistant professors are not expected to teach in the first term.


Year Hours teaching/administrating
Year 1 0
Year 2 339
Year 3 339
Year 4 339
Total 1017

Teachers are credited hours for the tasks they undertake (the account systems also covers various administrative tasks, such as serving on committees). The number of hours credited depends on the task performed; see the regulations for working hour  for more information. For example, one double lecture (of two times 45 minutes) is credited with 10 hours, while one double seminar (of two times 45 minutes) is credited with 7 hours.

Teaching plans

Teaching is planned two semesters ahead, once every semester. In February and September, respectively, tentative teaching plans are circulated to Course Group Leaders (Emnegruppeledere) for comments; Course Group Leaders will consult with relevant teachers and suggest adjustments to plans accordingly. Revised teaching plans are subsequently circulated to the entire teaching staff for further comments. The final decision about teaching plans is made by the Program Council (Programrådet).

The decision of the Program Council is final for the up-coming semester, while the plan for the subsequent semester may be subject to adjustments in the next round of planning.

What to teach

Assistant professors should inform the administrator responsible for the teaching schedule about what they would like to teach. This should be done as early as possible, but no later than the deadline for input to the planning process, 1 February and 1 September, respectively.

In the planning process, teachers’ preferences are accommodated as far as possible, although various restrictions, including availability of tasks and teachers, may limit choices; in practice, teachers' wishes are to a large extent accommodated. Teachers who have taught a specific course before, and want to do it again, are generally given priority.